The Pittsburgh Penguins have always been a pesky group. To take a line out of Bad Boys II, they're like, "Gnat[s] at a barbecue." The reason why they are so annoying is because they are a very talented group and win most of the meetings against the Flyers.
However, this season I think we are prepared to whoop Sid and the Pips from one end of the ice to the other. Certain things have to be done the right way, though.
Establish the forecheck early on with speed, speed, and more speed.
With a high-flying team like the Penguins, it is important to show them who's boss early and to set the pace for the rest of the game. You better bet that Crosby, Malkin, and Jordan Staal are fired up for this season, especially in a new building.
The Flyers must get pucks in deep and use our highly-publicized defenders to hold the rubber in from the blue line. Mac-Andre Fleury is an inconsistent goalie who always seems to play well against the Flyers. Just our luck, right?
The Flyers style of play must be quick and with finesse.
Fight fire with fire. The Flyers have to drop the bully act for this game. The Penguins are a team that loves to set up plays and execute them with accuracy. They are a finesse team and can beat you very quickly if your only goal is head-hunting. Lavy, please keep the dogs in the cage for this one.
My prediction is that Zherdev will have a big game due to his knack of setting up goal-scoring plays.
Defense, defense, and, you guessed it, more defense.
I'm no expert, but ever since I can remember Crosby and Malkin love to pull off a lot of behind-the-net offense. And you know what? They're pretty damn good at it too.
The Flyers' defense cannot be too anxious to follow them behind the net. It is important they stand their ground and pick up all the bodies in front.
You better believe that come Thursday, there is going to be one hell of a dogfight going on at the brand new CONSOL Energy Center.
However, if the Flyers can successfully execute all of these tactics, they will undoubtedly be victorious. But I say again, I'm no expert.